- c 1947-2002 (Creation)
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0.96 cubic metres
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Sir Ronald Urwick Cooke was born on 1 September 1941 in Maidstone, Kent. He studied geography with geology at University College, London, and completed his PhD there in 1968. In 1962 he was appointed Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Geography at the university. He became a professor there in 1981 and then Dean of Arts and Vice-Provost from 1991 to 1993.
In 1993 he moved to Yorkshire to take up the post of Vice-Chancellor at the University of York, a position he held until 2002. Under his Vice-Chancellorship, the student population doubled, with York being recognised nationally for the quality of its teaching and research. Sir Ronald also oversaw the creation of the Hull York Medical School, which opened to students in 2003, and co-founded The White Rose Partnership, linking York, Sheffield and Leeds universities.
He was awarded the Founder’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1994 and served as President of the society from 2000 to 2003. In 2002 he was knighted for his services to higher education.
Following his retirement, he continues to be active in public life. He was chair of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in 2004 and Trustee of the National Museum of Science and Industry between 2005 and 2008. In Yorkshire he has served as secretary of the York Archaeological Trust and as chair of the York Civic Trust, the Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard, and the Reinvigorate York Project, as well as being a patron of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and Trustee of York Museums Trust. In 2017 he was appointed chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Yorkshire and the Humber Committee.
In 2011 the Ron Cooke Hub on the University of York’s Heslington East campus was named in his honour.
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- University of York (Subject)